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YMMV / The Nutcracker in 3D

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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Close your eyes and the Rat King's torture of NC sounds like the most wrong thing ever. "Open your mouth... like a good little prince!"
    • Frau Eva saying to Mary: "Get changed, something nice... I'll help you."
  • Anvilicious: The rats are Nazis! GET IT?
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A modern, big-budget update of the timeless yuletide ballet... with little to no dancing, pop lyrics slapped on top of Tchaikovsky's legendary tunes, an abundance of childish humor, awful CGI for everything, and a cast of such child-friendly characters as a creepy CGI nutcracker, a creepy clown that unintentionally resembles John Wayne Gacy, a creepy CGI chimp, and ersatz-Nazis rounding up and burning "living" toys. Gee, why exactly did this film bomb so hard again?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • "I better go to the Little Girl's Room!" Um, what, Mom? Ditto the painful "distraction" musical number.
    • The group of random Russian cossack dolls who randomly appear as the sleigh is coming up the tree. They wish the leads "Mary Christmas" then hurl themselves off the trees like lemmings, to the tune of Tchaikovsky's "Cossack Dance", played at double-speed on kazoos.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The movie ends on a positive note with Mary and Nicholas Charles ice skating together... but the story is set in Austria, which will be annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. And Mary being Albert Einstein's niece means she's at least partially Jewish.
  • Ham and Cheese: John Turturro's performance as the Rat King, when he isn't frightening children. He owns it, reaching "delicious" M. Bison levels. Maybe he thought he was actually doing Springtime For Ratler?
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  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Most of its box office revenue (not that that's saying much) came from the Russian market. It helps that Tchaikovsky, who was Russian, wrote the original score.
  • Narm: So much, but the most glaring examples are probably Uncle Albert's "Hardest thing to understand is income tax... this is a PIECE OF SHTRUDEL!" and his song about the magic pebble.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • To start with, most kids would probably not want to play with a life-sized clown doll that looks like an obese middle-aged man. Or a creepily realistic chimp in a suit. Or a nutcracker doll with an unsettling, dead-eyed gaze. Or vicious robot hunting dogs that tear through wood and metal in seconds.
    • Then there's the Rat King brutally electrocuting his pet shark for fun, the Rat King's morphed "scary" face with huge teeth, the Smoke Factory, the Rats invading, and Sticks getting his head ripped off.
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    • Let's not forget toys (who are said to be alive) being rounded up and burned in factories.
  • Older Than They Think: Some people think that Mary has gotten an Adaptation Name Change from Clara in the original ballet. That actually isn't the case, "Mary" was the name of the little girl in the original book, while "Clara" was the name of her doll. The ballet simply decided to combine the two "characters".
  • The Scrappy: Max. Being a poorly acted Bratty Half-Pint is bad enough before he openly betrays the protagonists to the Rat King for no better reason than wanting to ride a motorcycle!
  • So Bad, It's Good: Get the right group of friends to riff it with, don't fear the nut-related jokes, and this flick is more fun than spiked eggnog.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The CGI (especially during the snowflake dance) and the costumes of the Christmas ornaments look extremely shoddy. The Nutcracker himself, in particular, is horrible, being blatantly composited onto the background in a way that doesn't look even slightly convincing and clashes blatantly with the real-world sets.
    • The robot rat-dogs eating through the tree is especially terrible, there's only a horribly-fake wood chips particle spray effect to cover up the fact that the dogs' faces are blatantly clipping through the tree. You can also clearly see John Turturro's stunt double doing the flip off the table in his first song; and the pirouette, followed by a bit of more complex footwork, in the second.
    • In one scene, the Rat King electrocutes his pet shark for no good reason, causing its corpse to float to the top of the tank. In the very next scene, the shark is back at the bottom of the tank as if nothing happened. Even worse? The animators forgot to animate it, causing it to sit there motionlessly in background!
  • Squick: Mary and NC's weird flirting. The Rat King seems to flirt with her a bit too ("I hope you’re saving the last dance for me") and so does Gielgud the chimp. Also squicky is the rambling reminiscence Frau Eva relates to Mary, about youthful indiscretion and spontaneous combustion.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The crowd song after the rats are defeated, which doesn't at all match the film's dark tone.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Ninety million dollars and 20 years of the director's passion-project work went into this script? Musical Hell points out how the horribly out-of-place "the Rats are Nazis" plotline could have actually served a purpose and helped the movie if the real-world horrors of the actual Nazis was used as a thematic parallel to the fantastical evil of the Rat King in Mary's dream world similarly to the allegorical villains of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Pan's Labyrinth. Instead, the actual Third Reich goes completely unmentioned and the Nazi rat plotline isn't used for anything more original than "we'll make the rats look like Nazis because Nazis are bad."
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Poor, poor Nathan Lane and Richard E. Grant. Whatever they were paying you wasn't enough.
  • Toy Ship: Literally and figuratively with Mary and NC/The Prince.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • As if the CGI in the film wasn't godawful enough, have fun sleeping after you see the Rat King's aforementioned face after he assumes a more rodent-like, but still humanoid form.
    • The nutcracker himself, GOOD GOD.
    • Gielgud isn't much better.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: It's a mystery what the hell the filmmakers were even going for with Tinker's design, but they probably weren't thinking about making him look so much like John Wayne Gacy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Uncle Albert giving Mary's father a pebble and claiming it's the same one he had when he was a child is supposed to be a whimsical and heartwarming Magic Feather act, but it comes across more like him emotionally manipulating his own brother by capitalizing on a painful childhood memory.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Certainly. It's The Nutcracker with toy burning and a town taken over by Nazi rats!
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: In a work based on a ballet, the actor who dances the most would be... John Turturro? He had a double for some harder moves, but what he did do was much more, and of a much better quality, than you'd expect.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The fairy's tinfoil dress; Tinker's disturbing resemblance to serial killer John Wayne Gacy; Mary's easily-ripped and see-through clothes; the Rat King's resemblance to Andy Warhol; the Rat Queen's weird wigs.


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